Winners of Canada Prizes announced

April 11, 2016

OTTAWA, April 11, 2016 – The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is very pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Canada Prizes.

The Canada Prizes are awarded annually to the best books by Canadian scholars in the humanities and social sciences that make an exceptional contribution to scholarship, are engagingly written, and enrich the social, cultural and intellectual life of Canada. Winners are selected from books that have received funding from the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program, which is administered by the Federation. This year marks the 25th anniversary of these prestigious prizes, first awarded in 1991.

“These books are representative of the tremendous scholarship produced in our country,” said Stephen Toope, President of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Two of this year’s winners examine Québec’s history—one looking at how two prominent families shaped the economic and social forces of the province, the other looking at how food has influenced provincial culture and health. The other two winners present perspectives not often heard in public debate—one investigating the traditional sustainable ecological practices of Indigenous peoples, the other exploring what girls think about the “hyper-sexualization” of young people in the media. “Each of these books contributes to Canadians’ understanding of our society; how our history is relevant to who we are today and how we might shape our future,” he added.

This year’s winners are:

Canada Prize in the Humanities

Brian Young, Patrician Families and the Making of Quebec: The Taschereaus and McCords (McGill-Queen’s University Press)

From the jury’s citation:

“Brian Young masterfully shows how the McCords and Taschereaus were closely tied to the economic, cultural, social and religious forces in Quebec, both shaping and being shaped by them. In addition to the impressive body of research that Young brings to this study, readers will also be drawn in by a book which has been beautifully produced with attractive illustrations that help make the story come alive.

Canada Prize in the Social Sciences

Nancy Turner, Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge: Ethnobotany and Ecological Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples of Northwestern North America. Volume 1 and Volume 2 (McGill-Queen’s University Press)

From the jury’s citation:

Nancy Turner's Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge is an astonishing work of scholarship, the culmination of 40 years of collaborative engagement with indigenous communities and natural ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest. Written in a straightforward, jargon-free style, generously interspersed with photographs, illustrations and tables, the resulting work is surprisingly accessible, given the depth and intensity of the scholarship on display. An extraordinary achievement.”

Prix du Canada en sciences humaines

Caroline Durand, Nourrir la machine humaine : Nutrition et alimentation au Québec, 1860-1945 (McGill-Queen’s University Press)

From the jury’s citation:

“A culmination of research that is remarkably comprehensive, Nourrir la machine humaine compares, in a direct and vigorous style, a host of discourses about nutrition and cooking practices. Thanks to Caroline Durand, neither the research community nor the general public of history buffs will see the content of their cupboards in the same way.”

Prix du Canada en sciences sociales

Caroline Caron, Vues, mais non entendues. Les adolescentes québécoises et l'hypersexualisation (Presses de l’Université Laval)

From the jury’s citation:

“By her rigorous and masterly study of a highly mediatized, and controversial, social phenomenon, Caroline Caron gives a voice to young women, bringing back their identity and their own conscience. Within the current national and provincial context of a constant (and often dangerous) objectification of young women and their bodies, this major study comes at the perfect moment to help us ask the right and relevant questions on this pressing subject.”

media kit including biographies and photos of the 2016 winners, along with the full jury citations and brief articles on each book, is available on the Federation’s website.  

The prizes, each valued at $2,500, will be presented at a ceremony during the 2016 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences  at the University of Calgary on Sunday, May 29. Authors of all four winning books are expected to be in attendance.  



About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. For more information about the Federation, visit

Media inquiries

Nicola Katz
Manager, Communications
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
613-238-6112 ext. 351
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